Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa was appointed the vice president for private sector operations and public-private partnerships of the Asian Development Bank, the bank said in a statement on Wednesday. He will take over from Diwakar Gupta, whose term will end on August 31.
Lavasa, however, said he had no idea of the appointment. “I have no intimation regarding this,” he said according to ThePrint. “The decision will be taken by the bank.” The news website said this is the first time an election commissioner has received another appointment before the end of their term.
Lavasa was in line to become the next chief election commissioner when Sunil Arora retires from the post in April 2021. Arora, too, told The Print that he had no inkling of Lavasa’s appointment to the Asian Development Bank.
Lavasa has been at the centre of controversy since the Lok Sabha elections last year, when he offered a dissenting opinion to the clean chit the Election Commission gave Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah for allegedly violating the Model Code of Conduct.
In February, the Income Tax Department accused members of Lavasa’s family of using unaccounted cash to get a house built in Gurugram and of having cash deposits worth nearly Rs 5 lakh in bank accounts after demonetisation. In September last year, the tax department issued notices to Lavasa’s wife, son and sister.